Cenotaph in Ottawa

Oh, Canada! The most important milestones of the top Canadian NHL teams

Oh, Canada! The most important milestones of the top Canadian NHL teams

Few would disagree that the United States of America is one of the most talked-about nations in the entire world. Everything from its food to its culture is globally renowned, so even in far-flung places such as Indonesia or Vietnam, you will now see signs for McDonald’s, Burger King or KFC. The US mark on the planet is everywhere, permeating everything we know. It is inescapable.

If you look at a map of North America, just above the US sites another large nation, that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. Canada is a proud and noble country. It is in fact the second largest country on the planet, behind only Russia in terms of total land area. It is by all measures a world leader, but a much more subtle and less bombastic one than their neighbours to the south.

Canada is known for many things. The scenery is beyond stunning, from Niagra Falls, the most famous waterfall in the world, to the Rockies, one of the most impressive mountain ranges known to man. It has more lakes than anywhere else and a great collection of national parks. Also, for those of you who enjoy adding a little something to ice cream or pancakes, Canada is the home of Maple Syrup, with approximately 14.29 million gallons being produced there in 2020 alone.

One thing that Canadians are most passionate about is Ice Hockey. The men’s team has won Olympic gold at the winter games nine times, with their most recent win coming in the 2014 games in Sochi, which certainly upset their Russian hosts. They also have a staggering 26 golds at the World Championships. The women’s team has also been very successful themselves, picking up a gold in the Sochi Winter Olympics. They also tasted victory in the most recent World Championships, held in Calgary.

While the National side is a great source of pride for the Canadians, they don’t play week in week out, so hockey fans have to get their fix somewhere else. Thankfully for them, there is a little thing called the NHL. Of the 32 teams that currently participate, seven of them hail from Canada; the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, the Vancouver Canucks and the Winnipeg Jets.

The ultimate prize in the NHL is the Stanley Cup, a prize that many of the Canadian teams have achieved over the course of NHL history. At the beginning of each season, fans eagerly look at the best online sports betting websites and apps, to see what the best NHL lines of betting are available to them. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest achievements of the Canadian teams in Ice Hockey.

Montreal leading the way

Founded the way back in 1909, the Montreal Canadiens are the longest continuously operating Hockey team, and also the only current side that actually predates the NHL itself. Given their long history, it is no surprise to see that they are not only the most successful Candian team but the overall most successful team in NHL history, with 24 Stanley Cup wins. This meant that for a period, they were the most successful team in all of North American sport until the New York Yankees won a 25th World Series title in 1999.

They made it through to last season’s final but weren’t able to overcome the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Montreal hasn’t added to their haul since the 1992/93 season, but they still have several Division Championships to their name in the past decade.

Behind them, the next most successful side hailing from Canada are the Toronto Maple Leafs. They have made it to 21 Stanley Cup finals, being on the right side of the result on 13 separate occasions. Again, like Montreal, the Maple Leafs have had an extended period of drought, not even making it to the Stanley Cup finals since 1967, the last time they won it.

On the official NHL website, a poll was conducted where fans could vote for their favourite Stanley Cup Champions of all time. Six of the top ten were sides hailing from Canada, including the number one pick, the 1984/85 Edmonton Oilers. That year, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky scored a remarkable 208 points in the regular season, before setting playoff records for both points and assists, as he steered the Oilers to a second successive championship. What Gretzky achieved that year is hard to believe, and many feel nothing like that will ever be witnessed again.

It has now been 28 long years since a Canadian side won the Stanley Cup, something few would have believed possible when sides from Canada were dominating in the 1960s and 1980s. Will a Canadian side go all the way this year? You’ll have to sit yourself down in front of a screen and watch along with the rest of us.

Photo: Canadian Flag by Hermes Rivera, Unsplash